Chicago: Beans Slump, Wheat Soars, Corn Pulled Both Ways!

28/11/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans, meal and oil all closed sharply lower, under pressure from the heavy fall in crude values following OPEC's move to keep production levels unchanged. There may well have been an element of pre-weekend and end of month profit-taking. Traders will also be conscious that year-end is also now not far away. "All three components of the soybean complex are hinting at near term tops have been formed and (need) lower prices before (they) find lasting support," suggested Benson Quinn. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentine soybean planting was now 44.8% complete versus 30.4% a week ago and 48.9% a year ago. The USDA reported strong weekly export sales for beans of almost 1.5 MMT. Meal sales however were disappointing at net cancellations of 22,300 MT. Perhaps the recent hike in meal values has done the job of choking off demand, or at least switching it to South America. Weekly exports of 2,781,100 MT in beans were also strong, even if down 10% on last week's massive total. China took over 2.1 MMT of that total. The IGC cut their forecast for next year's Argentine soy crop from 54 MMT to 53.5 MMT. They also trimmed their exports by a similar amount to 9 MMT. They did however raise US production this year from 106.9 MMT to 107.7 MMT, hiking exports by 0.5 MMT to 46.8 MMT. China's import needs were increased from 73 MMT to 73.5 MMT. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.16, down 31 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.22 1/2, down 30 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $391.10, down $10.50; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.18, down 130 points. For the week front month beans shed 23 cents, meal was up $12.70 and oil 51 points lower.

Corn: The corn market closed a couple of cents lower, seemingly undecided whether to follow soybeans or wheat. Weekly export sales of 944,900 MT were pretty good, and beat trade expectations as they were 59 percent up from the prior 4-week average. However, outside of that the corn market didn’t have much to go on from a fundamental standpoint, said Benson Quinn Commodities. The USDA announced 109,736 MT of US corn sold to Costa Rica for 2014/15 shipment. Ukraine said that they'd harvested 62.7 MMT of grain, off 98% of the planned area, including 26.2 MMT of corn. They also said that they'd exported just over 4 MMT of corn so far this season. The Russian grain harvest is now at 110.3 MMT, including 11.1 MMT of corn. The IGC lowered their forecast for next year's Argentine corn crop by 0.5 MMT to 22.5 MMT, and cut exports by 1 MMT to 14.5 MMT. They raised their outlook on this year's EU crop from 72.9 MMT to 73.4 MMT. China's imports were trimmed from 3 MMT to 2.7 MMT and Japan's reduced from 15.5 MMT to 15.4 MMT. "The bulk of the 2014/15 northern hemisphere crop is now harvested and, with better than average yields in many countries, the world production forecast is increased by 3 MMT from before," they said. At 982 MMT that is now only 2 MMT below last season's record crop, they noted. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentine corn planting was now 41.4% complete, barely higher than 40.2% a week ago, although little different to 42.5% a year ago. Although the market did close lower on the day, it actually finished around 5-6 cents off session lows. This could be viewed as a little supportive. Monday's trade will be interesting, especially as this was a holiday-shortened session, with many players absent and making a long weekend of it. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.75 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.88 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents. Dec 14 was 3 cents higher on the week.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with good gains. Weekly export sales of 431,500 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were up 19 percent from the previous week and 16 percent above the prior 4-week average. There were also sales of 65,000 MT for 2015/16. Actual shipments of 517,300 MT were also up noticeably from the previous week and from the prior 4-week average. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest was 31% complete versus 21.4% a week ago. They left their forecast for this year's crop unchanged at 11.5 MMT. Much of that might end up in Brazil, where rain has cut quality so badly in Rio Grande do Sul that some of this year's crop won't even make animal feed grade, according to Dr Cordonnier. Ukraine said that they'd exported 14.85 MMT of grains so far this season, including 7.35 MMT of wheat. Russia said that they'd harvested 110.3 MMT of grains including 62.3 MMT of wheat (in bunker weight). The IGC cut their forecast for the global wheat crop this year by 1 MMT to a still record 717 MMT. They now see Argentina's crop at 12.5 MMT and Europe's at 154.4 MMT. Kazakh output was reduced from 13.5 MMT to 13.0 MMT, but Ukraine's was raised from 24.0 MMT to 24.9 MMT. The trade is already starting to talk about reduced world wheat production next year though, with Russia potentially being responsible for the largest drop. SovEcon estimated their 2015 grain crop at less than 90 MMT, with wheat output of under 50 MMT earlier in the week. They now suggest that next year's crop could only muster 86 MMT, without apparently putting a specific estimate on wheat. In addition to that, there's talk of reduced Russian exports in 2015 due to new phytosanitary rules and/or the introduction of some form of export tariff. Winter crop conditions in Russia are also said to be "the worst on record" by SovEcon. Today's slump in crude oil prices also sees the Russian rouble at all time lows. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.77 1/4, up 15 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.37, up 16 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.21, up 22 1/2 cents. For the week Chicago wheat was 30 cents higher, with Kansas up 33 cents and Minneapolis 37 3/4 cents firmer.